After reflecting on some recent adversity I am beginning to understand how I put myself in vulnerable positions and that I may not be doing myself any good by doing so. I actually now recognise that I respond very negatively to being treated like a child and defensive stances. I like people to take responsibility for any mistakes or mishaps and I find myself feeling much better if I do the same. Apologising for over reactions and getting beyond the blame culture that seems to be endemic in society at the moment. High stress situations seem to be contagious and I know that I cannot function effectively when in close proximity to defensive positions and high tension. Stress seems to be an overarching term that many people use to excuse bad behaviour and rushed communication. In many circumstances “stress” is too general a term and a deeper understanding and excavation of thoughts, feelings and emotions are needed.
I am reading Emotional Agility by Susan David at the moment and I suspect this might be a life changing read. I discovered the work via social media and it was stumbled upon during my wish to understand myself and help me build up my capacity to cope with the slings and arrows of life. The last two years have been tough and I rerun a self-criticism script most days in relation to being over sensitive, unable to see the wood for the trees and becoming a liability with my emotional responses. I still cry when overwhelmed and many times this is triggered by the absence of kindness and curiosity. Simply stepping back from a situation instead of seeking blame and culpability can really help diffuse tension and unkind actions. I realise that showing emotions is often a no no and that my need to be honest and authentic might be at odds with some people’s definition of professional behaviours. In addition I am noticing when I don’t feel flaky and like crying and that this is in supportive, adult to adult communications and as I notice this I realise that it may not be my stuff but other people’s stuff and that I’m way too sensitive to other people’s stuff and how they should be acting. I have high expectations and I expect people around me to act in a certain way and there are certain ways of working that are not doing me any good.
I am a long way from getting things right but taking responsibility for actions and reactions is a good point to start. I am thinking about not putting myself in vulnerable positions and seeking help and advice before my emotions go into a downward spiral. Admitting vulnerability helps actions that lead to personal responsibility and then leads to feeling less hopeless and helpless.
This has been my learning recently and I believe that admitting certain frailties might actually build resilience and resourcefulness rather than making things worse. I feel much better writing this all down and sharing it with the outside world as an act of openness.